My Aunt had a brief affair with a good family friend who was a priest. She and my uncle had 6 children and 2 adopted, she then had a child by the priest. It devistated my family, and they did get divorced. But there is a fundamental difference between our stories, she was married at the time, your wife was not. In both cases, the priest was not free to engage in sexual activity, because, in essence, he is “married” to the church. So, he was having an affair himself as well. In your case, your wife was not intentionally betraying your vows, because you were not married at the time.
The problem lies in the fact that the priest is a man who is supposed to represent integrity and honesty, who is (usually) much respected. The same (in a secular view) is true of docters and therapists, and teachers having sex with people they are responsible for, that is why there is such strict laws against haveing a relationship between these professionals and those who rely on them. It must be hard for you to see this man, holiding himself up as a virtuous leader, all the while you know that he is not.
Let me tell you the secret from the other side, this priest is still just a man, with the same fallen nature as the rest of us. Jesus did not stone the woman caught in adultery, nor did he stop the crowd from doing so by force. He simply reminded them that they too, have sinned in the eyes of God. While it is hard to believe, every priest does not betray his vows, just as every married couple does not have affairs. It is dissapointing, to say the least. In my families case, once my uncle was eaten up by the knowledge of this inside, after about 2 years, he demanded that the bishop remove him from the priesthood, or at least the diocese. His adult children found out, and publically confronted him at his parish’s festival. He made the front page of the local papers, and was forced form active ministry as a result. He now (even though he is still a priest) has a consruction job, so he can pay child support, and recieve visitation of his son (my uncle refused to be a father figure for him) anyone who lives here with half a brain knows who this child is, and as he gets older, it will haunt his public life.
My question to you is this, if he resigned his public ministry, would you be content? What if he was a married man, would you demand he divorce his wife because he volated his vows, and “she should know” because he is decieving her? It it your decision to make? Do you know this priests heart? Do you know if he repented of this? That the knowledge that he did this might haunt his soul? Are there any sins from your own past that you deeply regret? In my own case, our priest friend went totally gray in a matter of 6 months. He is tourtured. Even before it became public knowledge, I could tell he was deeply tourtured by something. I even guessed what it was. I know he regretted this, that he must have sought out the sacrament of Confession. The publicity only served to remove a good man and a good priest from active ministry. How many people could have been spriitually healed from this new personal insight into the graces of forgiveness, and the temporal, as well as the spritual effects of sin? Some of the Catholic churches greatest saints were some of her greatest sinners. Look in the bible, Paul was once the fiercest persecuter of Christians, and the Lord called him to be the greatest preacher, to the point of dying for Christ.
I don’t know this man’s heart, only God does, and His will be done. You must let the vengence of the Lord belong to the Lord, and resist to temptation to pride that you are induging in by holding him more accountable. Yes, he should be held to a higher stander, and it is very dissapointing to know that he did not live up to this, but is he any less worthy of the love and forgiveness of God because he is a priest? And then should the entire priesthood be held accountable for the sins of one of it’s members?
When we do not follow the laws of God, many heartaches occur. This is just one of many examples of that fact. There is a reason why God gives us so many “rules”. God bless you, and if you need any more insight from someone who has seen “the other side”, I’d be happy to respond.